Hinsdale Central grad shares his Hawks’ knowledge, passion
Hinsdale Central graduate Tab Bamford (class of '98) talks Saturday about his book "100 Things Blackhawk Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" at the Barnes & Noble in Oak Brook. | Jeff Krage~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 10, 2012 11:39AM
Longtime Chicago Blackhawks fan Tab Bamford calls the Blackhawks’ successful franchise turnaround “unbelievable,” but the Westchester resident has just as hard of a time believing he has become an author.
Just last year Bamford wrote 100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Do Before They Die. The book’s first run completely sold out before Christmas. The book features a forward written by former Hawks star Jeremy Roenick.
The book, published by Triumph Books, was available for purchase while Bamford signed copies Saturday at the Barnes & Noble at the Oakbrook Center Mall.
“It’s pretty wild,” Bamford said of seeing his name in print. “I think the most striking experience was walking into the main gift shop at the United Center and seeing the book right in the front glass.”
Bamford said the holidays were full of congratulatory text messages and calls from friends who had received his book.
While growing up in Clarendon Hills and later Oak Brook, Bamford fell in love with sports, participating in football, track and swimming at Hinsdale Central High School before playing three years of college football at Taylor University.
Though a back injury cut short his playing career, Bamford continued to pursue his passion in sports, albeit from a different perspective. It started when he worked as the analyst on his college football radio broadcasts during his injured senior season.
Bamford changed his major to journalism and was the sports editor for the campus newspaper.
After a brief career in financial services, Bamford began writing about sports professionally.
He owns a Blackhawks website, committedindians.com, is a columnist for 4th Period magazine, and writes a sports blog for Chicago Now and the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.
Triumph began publishing the 100 Things book series and looked to the Chicago area this past year.
“They contacted me because of the team’s popularity,” Bamford said. “It published the first week of November and the first printing of 3,500 books sold out.
“It was a quick turnaround, but I submitted it a week early.”
A couple things on Bamford’s Blackhawks fan bucket list include taking in a game in the new 300 level bar standing room areas and taking a drive out to Rockford to see the Hawks minor league team, the IceHogs, play.
“Seeing a game in Rockford is a fantastic experience,” he said, “especially seeing the new names getting called up.
“You can see them before they come to Chicago at a fraction of the cost.”
The publishing experience has been humbling for Bamford, but he was more than happy to share his ideas and hear the stories of other hard-core fans.
“It’s fun to chat with Hawks fans about what they’ve enjoyed on their recent run or their history,” he said. “The team has a colorful history and the fan base is very passionate. Any time you can spend time sharing with fellow Blackhawks fans is a blast.”